Another Defeat for Biden’s Vaccine Mandate, Even as America Passes Another Vaccination Milestone
Wednesday brought good news about vaccines and vaccine mandates.
The Senate voted on Wednesday night to overturn President Joe Biden’s mandate that businesses with more than 100 employees require vaccinations or routine COVID-19 testing. The 52–48 vote—Sens. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D–Mont.) were the only Democrats to support the effort—is the latest blow to Biden’s vaccine mandate, which was announced in September and was supposed to take effect next month.
With Wednesday’s vote in the Senate, the mandate is now collapsing within all three branches of the federal government. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit put the vaccine mandate on hold last month while it conducts a more thorough legal review of the policy. In issuing that stay, a unanimous three-judge panel called the mandate for private employers “fatally flawed” and “staggeringly broad.”
Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is supposed to be tasked with enforcing the mandate, has announced that it will not act until the legality of the mandate is determined. On a more basic level, there’s no practical way for OSHA, a relatively small federal agency with fewer than 2,000 employees, to actually enforce the mandate. Before suspending its efforts, OSHA was openly admitting it would have to rely on workplace snitches to get the job done.
The legislative attempt at undoing the mandate is probably the least likely path for success since the bill faces opposition in the House (and, ultimately, from Biden’s veto pen). Still, the effort is important as yet another signal that Biden’s attempt to force private businesses to do the bidding of the state is unwelcome.
Sen. Mike Braun (R–Ind.), who introduced the resolution under the terms of the Congressional Review Act, said it was necessary for Congress to “stand up against this federal overreach that will wreak havoc on our recovering economy and trample on the rights of millions of Americans.”
While Biden’s mandate is falling apart, however, it remains true that vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and end the pandemic. Wednesday brought more good news on that front as well, with preliminary data from Pfizer/BioNTech indicating that their vaccine is effective against the new omicron variant.
The researchers tested the new variant against antibodies produced by people one month after they had been inoculated with a third booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They report that the boosted level of antibodies “provides a similar level of neutralizing antibodies to Omicron as is observed after two doses against wild-type and other variants that emerged before Omicron. These antibody levels are associated with high efficacy against both the wild-type virus and these variants.”…
Keep firmly in mind that these are very preliminary laboratory results that need to be confirmed by real-world epidemiological evidence with respect to breakthrough infections and disease severity. Nevertheless, these results corroborate that people who have already gotten two doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Article from Reason.com